Eight people are feared to be trapped under the rubble of two buildings that collapsed following an explosion in the south of France.

TV footage showed clouds of smoke rising from the ruins as firefighters tried to douse the flames in Marseille.

Sniffer dogs are searching for victims.

The cause of the explosion is not yet known, said Marseille prosecutor Dominique Laurens.

The buildings’ collapse caused a fire that has complicated the rescue effort, Ms Laurens told reporters.

Five people were taken to hospital with serious but not life threatening injuries.

A man who gave his name only as Roland said survivors had “lost everything”.

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“We have nothing, not even an ID card,” he told local newspaper La Provence.

He managed to get out of the building on 15 Rue de Tivoli with his wife and two children before it collapsed along with a neighbouring one.

There was also a partial collapse of a third building.

In total, 30 buildings in the area were evacuated, said Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who visited the site.

“Thoughts are with Marseille,” President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.